Big Content told to sling its piracy hook in Sweden

Captain_Hook_(Hook)A Swedish court has told Big Content that the legal system can’t be used to force ISPs to ban whoever a music or film mogul does not like.

The District Court of Stockholm court ruled that the country’s internet service providers cannot be forced to block controversial Swedish file-sharing site Pirate Bay.

Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Nordisk Film and the Swedish Film Industry wanted to force Swedish ISP Bredbandsbolaget block Pirate Bay because it was ignoring their calls.  Its argument was that if the ISP was not censoring whoever Big Content said it should, then it was helping the pirates.

But the court found that Bredbandsbolaget’s operations do not amount to participation in the copyright infringement offences carried out by some of its ‘pirate’ subscribers.

Bredbandsbolaget said that is only job was to provide customers with internet access and ensuring the free-flow of information, it should not be forced into the censorship business.

Presiding Chief Magistrate Anders Dereborg said that the court said it is not in a position to authorise such a ban as the rights holders want and therefore rejects their request.

The move was a little unexpected.  The courts have been rolling over for Big Content through-out Europe. The only EU country that has not done so has been the Netherlands.

The Pirate Bay was founded in Sweden in 2003, allows users to share music, film and other files using bit torrent technology, or peer-to-peer links offered on the site.

In 2009 Fredrik Neij and three other Swedes connected with The Pirate Bay were found guilty of being accessories to copyright infringement by a Swedish court.

They were each given one-year jail terms and ordered to pay $3.6 million in compensation.